In most cases, the credit card dispute process is mostly in favor of the consumer therefore; the credit card issuer reverses the charge and leaves it to the vendor to prove that it’s genuine. Valid reasons to dispute a credit card transaction include being charged twice for the same purchase, being charged for an item you returned or an item that was never received. In addition, the card issuer may fail to charge a payment or at times an unapproved transaction.
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) protects customers against billing errors and under qualifying circumstances, and liability is limited to $50, which most credit card issuers waive. Some of the errors that cause credit card disputes include:
- Payments with wrong date or dollar amount.
- Numerical errors like a wrong total after adding a tip.
- Inability to make payments or credits.
- Inability to deliver the bill to your current address.
- Charges for which you ask for proof or clarification.
Tips on how to dispute a credit card transaction
Below are some of the ways on how you can undertake and win a dispute.
Consistently check your credit card statement; It is better if you detect an error sooner rather than later.
Pick your battles; do not be tempted to argue a genuine charge, even if you were dissatisfied with the purchase.
Be polite; even when you’re right, being rude will delay finding a solution to your problem. While it’s ok to be firm, ensure that you are respectful, speak clearly and provide all required information.
Get in contact with the vendor; in many cases, especially those involving human error, the vendor is often the best point to start. Genuine businesses will happily correct a mistake when evidence of the error is presented.
Take your time and gather your evidence. Don’t be bullied into giving up on a valid dispute. Identify the reason you believe the charge should be reversed, and if there is any record to support your position, you should present it.
Access your account online or call the phone number on the back of your card; For major credit card issuers, the online dispute process requires you to fill a credit card dispute form,which is just as effective as calling to speak to a representative. In many cases, the card issuer will contact you for any further information if needed. The card issuer will give the vendor a chance to prove that the charge is valid and then notify you of the conclusion of the investigation.
Write a letter to dispute
Write a letter; To formally follow up a credit in consonance with your rights under the FCBA, your request should be submitted to the credit card issuer in writing within 60 days of the date of receiving the bill with the wrong charge. The credit card dispute letter template should include the following information: your name, address and phone number, the account number, the information of the charge, the statement closing date and the reason you are disputing the charge. You should also list all the steps you have taken so far to resolve the dispute, and include copies of any letters, receipts or other records. Send everything, but ensure you keep a copy to be on the safe side.
Pay your bill; don’t cease paying your credit card bills unless the only charge outstanding is the one in dispute. If you fail to pay the other parts of your bill, this can result in late fees and negative reporting to the credit bureaus. You do not have to pay the disputed charge and its related charges while it is under investigation, and the credit card issuer cannot attempt to collect the debt. And if the dispute is not resolved in your favor, you’ll be accountable for any interest charges that accumulate during the process.
It is therefore recommended that you review the FCBA for all eligibility information before initiating a dispute.